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Design Council Spark 2018: Call for applications

Published on 11 October 2017

Applications are being invited for Design Council Spark 2018, a funding and support programme to help UK-based inventors turn their idea into a commercial product. Following the success of previous partnerships, we will again join the Design Council in supporting this programme.

This partnership aims to support the development of assistive products that help people living with arthritis to live well and for those products to offer additional therapeutic benefit. This will ultimately help people with arthritis be as independent and in control as possible.

This year's winner was Geoff Rolandsen, an architect based in London, with his product the Workey turner. This novel aid makes it easier for those with limited hand dexterity to turn keys in doors.

Successful projects will receive £15,000 for initial product development, as well as a place on the Design Council 16-week programme providing expertise and one to one mentoring. Following the initial intensive programme, the entrants who can demonstrate a clear commercial solution that will help people living with arthritis, will be given the opportunity to pitch their idea for a further £50,000 with ongoing support. A maximum of three shortlisted projects will be funded by Arthritis Research UK, with at least one project receiving a share of up to £50,000.

Entries are open to UK-based individuals over 18 years old, and small companies. The fund is exclusively available to projects that have been developed to a stage where further validation of the technical, market or commercial concept is required. It will not fund basic research projects or early stage ideas.

The online application process is managed by the Design Council. Please visit the Design Council website for more information.

The deadline for applications is 21 November 2017. If you do have any queries at all or want to discuss this with a member of our team, please get in touch with Sarah Odoi or Paul Thornhill at

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.